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Gateway Communications provides secure, reliable, on-demand satellite connectivity to Africa's remote retail outlets; AfricaConnect for retailers, a satellite solution for flexible connectivity
[May 20, 2009]

Gateway Communications provides secure, reliable, on-demand satellite connectivity to Africa's remote retail outlets; AfricaConnect for retailers, a satellite solution for flexible connectivity

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) London, -- Gateway Communications, the leading provider of African telecommunications services, announced today the arrival of AfricaConnect for the South African retail community. AfricaConnect allows remote outlets a secure, reliable and flexible satellite solution for connectivity needs. This follows the successful implementation of Gateway's AfricaConnect product in several other sector businesses, including banking, mining and logistics companies.

Retail outlets, shopping malls, gas stations and major eateries that do not need a constant internet connection, can benefit from a commercially attractive option, achieved through high utilisation of low bandwidth. Transactional applications, such as Point-of-Sale and ATMs where there are short-sharp bursts of traffic that traverse the bandwidth very quickly, can be managed using Gateway's AfricaConnect for Retail.

Many of the IT applications used by the retail sector are not response-time dependant, such as the uploading and downloading of store information which can be performed after hours, or end-of-day statistics, product price specials, display adverts which can be scheduled for regular out of hours updates, so that multiple remote sites can access and share the same bandwidth.

"The reality is most retail outlets don't need a dedicated link to be online 24x7. There are certain transactions that need to happen - but they do not have to be in real time and they do not have to take place at the same time for each outlet. Sharing a link among branches is far more cost effective - not least in a time when retailers are struggling with the current financial environment," said Geoff Hardwick, managing director, Gateway Communications, Southern Africa.

The AfricaConnect for Retail product is based upon VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology, using both C band and the Ku band spectrum of satellite, which can be deployed at any and every location in South Africa. For South African companies working anywhere within the SADC region or the wider African continent, the same solution can be deployed and managed and controlled in South Africa.

"We see this product evolving to function as a back-up for when the primary, often terrestrial, link is down," continued Hardwick. "It is very difficult to get alternate terrestrial connectivity for back-up in remote locations and repair times are generally quite slow due to problems of access. Using a product like AfricaConnect for Retail, a number of remote sites can be backed up with a pool of low bandwidth, giving management and HQ the assurance that neither operations, nor customer service will be affected." Gateway Communications is the largest independent provider of satellite network services in Africa, with more than 45 transponders of capacity, providing flexibility and speed of link provisioning.

About Gateway Communications Gateway Communications owns and operates the largest and most advanced pan-African telecommunications network. Our scale, reach and resources are unparalleled. Gateway connects over 583 million people in over 40 African countries, working in partnership with the continents leading mobile phone operators.

Our business experts are creating prosperity across Africa by working closely with multinational corporations; in banking and finance, oil and gas, mining and construction, retail and distribution, airlines and other important sectors.

With more than 47 transponders of satellite capacity over Africa Gateway manage more connectivity over the continent than any other operator. And with 24 dedicated teleports, access to multiple SAT-3 and SEACOM landing ports, 17 African offices and 350 local experts, we've got more on the ground support than any other operator.

Gateway is committed to developing long term communications solutions and investing for the long term in the communities where we operate. Gateway has been recognised by the rest of the industry for setting the standards for tomorrows communications in Africa Gateway has recently been awarded - Best Satellite Service Provider 2009                SatCom Stars Awards April 2009 - Excellence in Innovation in Satellite Cellular Services      Intelsat Awards November 2008 - Best Wholesale Operator in Africa                  Capacity Awards November 2008 ((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected])) (c) 2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

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